Former Boyle star wins Atlantic 10 Track & Field Championship

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

Molly Wise knew she could jump 20 feet in the long jump because she had done it several times during the season but had scratched each time she made that mark.

However, the former Boyle County High School state long jump and triple jump champion finally got a legal 20-foot jump for the first time Saturday when she went 20 feet, 1 inch to win the Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track & Field Championship Saturday at George Mason University.

The University of Richmond sophomore hit the mark on her first jump.

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“I was very excited. The weather definitely was not the best with it raining and only 51 degrees when we were jumping but I was really focused and had a lot of adrenaline,” Wise said. “It just came together on that first jump.

“I knew that feeling of hitting 20 feet because I had done it during the season. I was ranked third coming into the event and knew I had a chance to win and then I hit that big jump on my first try.”

Wise will compete again this weekend at the ECAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship with the hopes of qualifying for the NCAA East Preliminary Championship hosted by the University of Kentucky May 22-25.

Forty-eight long jumpers qualify for the NCAA event at UK and Wise currently ranks 49th less than an inch off the qualifying standard.

“I’ve got another meet to try and make it and it would really be nice to get to go to UK and compete,” said Wise, who won her long jump and triple jump championships at the UK track in 2022.

Wise also was a late addition in the 4×100-meter relay at the conference championship and helped her team finish fourth.

“We had somebody get hurt at the last minute. I had to replace an athlete who hurt her hamstring running the 200 and had to be carried off the track,” Wise said. “I had not practiced the relay all year. I ran anchor so I would not have to pass the baton to anyone.”

Wise understands injuries. She tore her MCL and ACL as a high school freshman and that eventually led to her giving up tennis and trying track. The end of her high school senior year she suffered a hamstring tear and had to change her jumping style before winning the state. Her freshman year at Richmond she dealt with knee pain and suffered another MCL tear halfway through indoor season that kept her from competing in the outdoor season. Surgery did not “go great” and she eventually needed another surgery.

She missed the indoor season but said she has been “doing full speed stuff” since late March.

“It was a slow recovery but everything seems fine now and I just hope it stays that way,” Wise said. “I have not had any problems this outdoor season and it has been nice just focusing on the long jump and no longer worrying about the triple jump where I tore my hamstring in high school.”

Wise already knows she will have a busy summer. She has an internship with Dr. Paul Kirtsis,  a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who holds a subspecialty certification in sports medicine. He is the head team physician for Richmond athletics.

“I will shadow him in the office and in surgery,” Wise said.

She will also take two classes — one online and one from 6-9 p.m. She will also be doing personal training, coaching jumpers from Richmond area schools and doing a second internship at the juvenile detention center where she has been volunteering for the last six months.

“I won’t have much free time this summer but that’s how I like it,” Wise said.